Manufacturers are driving recovery in the euro zone, according to the latest economy data. The closely watched PMI index for the sector jumped to 53.7 in September. That beat forecasts, and was well above the key 50-point line that signifies economic expansion. Makers were boosted by a faster-than-expected rebound in demand. The new orders subindex rose to its highest since February 2018, suggesting the manufacturing revival is set to roll on. But it looks like a two-speed economy right now, with services slamming into reverse. The index for the bloc’s dominant sector sank to 47.6 this month. That was down from 50.5, and below even the most pessimistic forecast in a Reuters poll. Service providers of all kinds have been hit by a resurgence in health worries, and new lockdowns in some countries and regions. Put it all together and the composite PMI number, which combines services and manufacturing, just barely clung to growth at 50.1. It was a somewhat brighter picture over in the UK, where all indexes at least stayed in positive territory. Though again, manufacturing posted a gain while services growth slowed down. The composite number dropped more sharply than forecast to 55.7.
The widow of longtime Senator John McCain, Cindy, backed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday (September 22). She's the latest prominent Republican voice to do so. On Twitter McCain wrote: "My husband John lived by a code: country first. We are Republicans, yes, but Americans foremost. There's only one candidate in this race who stands up for our values as a nation, and that is @JoeBiden." Biden, who forged a long-standing friendship with McCain despite their ideological differences, broke the news earlier during a virtual fundraiser. He told supporters Cindy McCain decided to endorse him after The Atlantic magazine reported that Trump had called U.S. soldiers who died in combat quote "losers" and "suckers," comments that the president has denied making. Cindy McCain had previously appeared in a video on Biden's behalf for the Democratic National Convention in August. The news came as Trump hosted a campaign rally in Pittsburgh Tuesday night, where he mocked Biden for wearing a mask on the campaign trail. Biden has repeatedly slammed Trump's handling of the health crisis, while Trump claims his management of it has saved lives. "I mean honestly, what the hell did he spend all that money on the plastic surgery if he's going to cover it up with a mask." Biden will return to the campaign trail on Wednesday with his first trip as the Democratic nominee to North Carolina, another key state. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday showed Trump and Biden even in the state, which Trump won in 2016. On Tuesday, North Carolina election officials agreed to count absentee ballots received up to nine days after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by November 3, as states prepare for an expected surge in mail-in voting this year.
Walking the streets of Coachella, California, Maria Jose Rodriguez is canvassing for an election in which she can't vote. Rodriguez is 24 years old, old enough to cast a ballot, but her immigration status means she can't take part. That's not stopping her from a mission to mobilize her community to get out and vote. "It feels like you're shouting at the top of your lungs, but nobody can hear you. You know, because I know for a lot of undocumented people, it's kind of normalize for us to be like in the shadows, you know. Just keep your head down, go to work, mind your own business." Coachella is an area largely home to Latinos and mixed status families. Rodriguez herself was born in Michoacan, Mexico and brought into the U.S when she was four. Her status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or 'DACA', gives temporary relief from deportation for some young undocumented immigrants and it allows them authorization for work. Rodriguez is able to work and go to school and she's currently purusing a career in psychology at UC Riverside. But she says being shut out of decisions that affect all Americans is disheartening. Fellow canvasser Vanessa Moreno is also a DACA benficiary and she agrees it's not easy. "It is frustrating because it's that, you know, like paper, that just piece of paper that is preventing me from, you know, voting. But I feel I'm also hopeful that in the future, I will, I will vote. And I know that. But, I know right now I'm not going to wait for that moment. I'm gonna do whatever it takes to make sure that other communities are voting." Lesly Figueroa is running for Mayor of the City of Coachella in November. She says she that the work that Rodriguez and Moreno are doing as volunteers in her campaign is critical, since historically the region has a low voter turnout. "I think it means a lot to me for them to be so active and so, you know, wanting to make sure that other residents who can vote participate in their local democracy, right?" And Moreno has a message for U.S President Donald Trump, who says people like her make up a movement that he may have underestimated. "We can't vote, but we have a voice and we are able to use our voice to push others, to motivate others to vote for us."